June 29, 2009

Summer basketball notebook

The Georgia football team isn't the only group of Bulldogs currently going through summer workouts and drills.

Mark Fox's basketball squad is working just as hard.

"I think this summer we're just trying to get better," Fox said during Monday's summer basketball teleconference with SEC beat writers. "Certainly, we've got a lot of improving to do but our kids have been very responsive to our staff and the direction we're trying to take. We're working hard to get better each and every week."

Participation has almost been 100 percent, the lone exception being sophomore Howard Thompkins, currently in New Zealand where he's a member of the U.S. 19-U team.

"I've talked to Trey a couple of times during the tryout process and he was certainly excited about making the team," Fox said. "He felt he played well and I talked to a couple of the coaches and they thought he played well, both in the tryouts and leading up to their trip over there. I think it's a very exciting time for him. Anytime you can wear that USA across tour chest, it's a very proud moment. He should be very proud and I know he'll do well."

Fox has no problem with Focus Groups

Although some college basketball coaches take issue with the NCAA's Basketball Focus Group, Fox is not among them.

"We've had contact with all the groups, be it email or whatever, and I think our game can be cleaned up in some ways and improved. I think that the focus groups are needed right now," Fox said. "We're trying to address a lot of things as a unit, as an entity of college basketball and I think that those things can help us."

Talking points for the focus group include:

A. Implement outreach to constituents in the men's basketball environment to increase the number of contacts in the men's basketball environment.

B. Develop a full understanding of the men's basketball environment.

C. Establish a meaningful presence in the men's basketball environment.

Other purposes for the group include finding ways to enhance the credibility of the enforcement staff, improve the enforcement staff's ability to conduct effective and efficient investigations and deter impermissible behaviors.

Fox disagreed with the notion that suggests one of the problems in college basketball revolves around coaches being willing to accept a secondary violation if it means signing a big-time recruit.

"I don't know if it's a growing problem," he said. "But I will tell you this; you're probably going to start seeing a stiffer penalty for secondary violations."

Pearson helps bring stability

Not surprisingly, Fox had nothing but warm words for assistant coach Philip Pearson, who joined his staff after spending the previous 11 years at Alabama.

"Coach Pearson is someone I knew for over a decade," Fox said. "I really have a lot of respect for what Philip has accomplished. You look at his production as a recruiter, and last year we got to see when he took over that team his skill as a coach on the floor. He's been a real benefit and helped us get off to a good start. He's recruited this area for a long time. We're excited that he's with us."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!